Alcoholism serves several psychological purposes effectively.
This is why alcoholism is so intractable (difficult to get rid of or treat) and why recidivism is as high as 60% within the first year after rehab.
Helps the alcoholic to cope with dissonance, frustration, anxiety, anger, stress, sadness, panic, and other negative emotions or mood disorders
Helps the alcoholic to restore his or her self-confidence and self-esteem, also as a man or a woman (especially when coupled with a body image issue)
By lowering inhibitions, alcohol legitimizes narcissistic traits and behaviors like: lack of empathy, extreme selfishness, a sense of entitlement.
Allows the alcoholic to express his or her repressed promiscuity and aggression: traits that s/he find ego-dystonic (traits that s/he dislikes). Alcohol renders the alcoholic much more sociable, grandiose, and sociopathic (becomes volubly defiant, hates authority figures, engages in reckless behaviors like unprotected sex with a stranger, or compulsive shopping or gambling)
Allows the alcoholic to accomplish goals (is goal-oriented) that s/he would never even try when sober.
The drunk person during an alcohol-induced blackout is FULLY AWARE of WHAT s/he is doing, WHO s/he is doing it with, whether what s/he is doing is WRONG, and if she is HURTING loved ones with her or his promiscuity, immoral, or antisocial or even criminal acts. During the entire episode, s/he makes multiple choices and decisions based on rational analyses and emotional states. S/he is 100% in control and should be held accountable for the misbehavior.
Throughout the blackout, orientation, reasoning, a moral sense, short-term memory, and decision making are NOT IMPAIRED. They are all intact. The only thing affected is long-term memory: the next morning, the recovering alcoholic has zero recall of what has happened during the blackout.
This is why it is difficult to tell a drunk in a blackout state from a merely inebriated person or social drinker. They appear to be fully present and cognizant throughout the blackout - and they are! Motor functions are affected and there is a tendency to repeat the same sentences over and over again - but that is it.
Like narcissists, people wasted to the point of a blackout just DON'T CARE about anything or anyone but themselves: behavioral inhibitions are down (alcohol disinhibits); empathy towards one's nearest and dearest is turned off (or redirected at strangers!); a sense of invulnerability, invincibility, omnipotence and impunity sets in; the drunkard experiences attraction or even infatuation with all and sundry; and the high and the buzz of the drink compensate for any frustration, depression, stress, or anxiety with a heightened sense of well-being and with aggression.
Ironically, alcohol being a depressant, all these effects are viciously reversed on sobering up.
People - women especially - get that drunk in order to feel better about themselves and their lives, legitimize their promiscuity and cheating ("the drink did it to me and I cannot remember a thing"), and trash themselves in a bout of self-destruction.
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